AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) — Chandra Perkins, founder of Storybridge, was a teacher for 17 years and saw the link between kids reading at a young age and readiness for school. But not every parent can afford books for their children.
"Research has shown that kids in 'at risk' areas actually start kindergarten 12 to 14 months behind their peers of a higher income," said Perkins. "A lot of that goes back to having access to books as a toddler."
Storybridge provides books for kids up to 6th grade. This summer, the non-profit is working to make sure kids have books when they are not in school. Tuesday kicked off Storybridge's summer of book fairs.
"What I really liked about today is that these kids got to take home five books for the summer and they don't have to return them to the library, they don't have to worry about transportation, or about even having a late fee," said Star Stater with Cargill in Amarillo.
Cargill presented a check for $1,000. They will be sponsoring Emerson Elementary. Kids showed up at the school to read and take some home.
"Cargill's thousand dollar gift today will purchase over 400 new books in Spanish and books with minority characters," said Perkins. "You want to see yourself if a book, so that will be an awesome gift. We need lots of other businesses in town that are passionate about early literacy and helping our schools."
Anyone can drop off used or new books to various locations around town, but Storybridge needs businesses who will step up to sponsor a school.
"If we can flood our neighborhoods with good, children's books, I really think that will make a huge difference for them in school," Perkins said.
Throughout summer, anyone can stop by one of the locations where books will be handed out.
Here is the summer schedule:
Thurs, June 1 - 1 p.m. Cathy's Pointe Apartments
Tues, June 6 - 12 p.m. Emerson Elementary
Thurs, June 8 - 10 a.m. Lamar Elementary and 1 p.m. Cathy's Pointe Apartments
Tues, June 13 - 12 p.m. Emerson Elementary
Thurs, June 15 - 1 p.m. Cathy's Pointe Apartments
Thurs, July 27 - 10 a.m. Lamar Elementary